Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Different Sort of Chicken Salad

The weather has been extremely capricious around these parts.  It's cool some mornings, hot by noon and sweltering (by mid-September standards) at 4 p.m..  It can abruptly reverse the trend the next day.  Unlike my mother, I don't seem to have the right "transitional" attire.  Instead, I find myself donning sweaters in layers that can be peeled off or put on as necessary.  There are a few leaves beginning to change color.  Our serviceberry trees are among them.  The potted herbs:  basil, tarragon, sage and parsley are slowing in growth.  I'll bring the rosemary in soon and try to nurse the sage along until Thanksgiving.  

The one constant on our table is salad in some form.  There's rarely a dinner that isn't accompanied by a salad.  This salad was dinner.  I had a bag of the Fresh Express Sierra Crisp Herb blend and some air-cooled chicken breasts in the refrigerator.  It is a happy combination, quite delicious and fast to prepare.

(From Ina Garten and Me)

6 boneless, skinless air-cooled* chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 eggs (beaten)
1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
unsalted butter
olive oil
1 package Fresh Express Sierra Crisp Herb Mix
1 lemon
good olive oil

Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of waxed paper and pound them until they are approximately 1/4 inch thick.  I use a rolling pin.

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish.  Place the beaten eggs in a shallow dish.  On a third dish, mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Dip the chicken breasts into the flour mixture, then into the beaten eggs and lastly into the breadcrumb mixture.  

Heat a tablespoon each of butter and olive oil and cook 2 to three breasts at a time for 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through.  Repeat with remainder.  Keep the chicken warm in a 200 degree oven until all are finished but no longer than 15 minutes or so.

Prepare the Salad:

Here is where I decided to go with the Italian style of dressing a salad.  Because the Sierra blend is quite delicious with no dressing, I wanted it to stand on it's own.  And, so, quite simply, empty the salad blend into a large bowl.  Add a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) and lightly toss.  Then add approximately one tablespoon of good olive oil and toss just to coat.  Next a few pinches of sea salt and a grating of black pepper (this part is to your taste).  Toss all again.  

Place one chicken breast on a plate and top with the salad.  


*Whole Foods had air-cooled, organic chicken breasts on sale last week.  We found them to be quite tasty.  Our food scientist son was along to encourage the purchase.  Check out the air cooling vs water cooling.  I think we are going to go with air cooled in the future.  They are becoming more and more available in the U.S.


  1. This is one of our favorites. I love the cool lettuce on the hot chicken -- and I haven't fixed it in "forever" -- will have to rectify it when I get back in the kitchen!

  2. Looks wonderful -- I had never heard of "air-cooled" chicken -- I'll be on the lookout.

  3. it is way to early for me to be drooling, but this is beautiful and sounds yummy and is so easy even this non cook could do it. thanks for sharing.

  4. I've made this Ina recipe and we really liked it! It's a nice contrast between warm/cold.

  5. I don't know much about "air cooled", but that salad looks yummy. Carla

  6. I love this recipe and your plating of it makes it look even more appealing than published versions of the dish. I had not heard of air-cooled chickens, but on your recommendation will try to find some. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  7. Cooking with Ina is always a win-win situation!!!! Delish.

  8. This is my favorite kind of chicken salad!

  9. That is a wonderful recipe; love the idea of adding hot chicken to a salad; thank you for sharinf this one.

  10. Lovely photo and such a great recipe! I love all kinds of chicken salads...except the kind that has fruit in with the chicken!

    Our summers usually last through October, so we are not look for cooler weather just yet, but we look forward to eating out on the lanai!

  11. Oh this looks so good! I was going to ask you what air-cooled chicken is, I'm glad you explained at the end. So you can really tell a difference? How so? You know I love Whole Foods!!! Did you know that pesticides go all the way through potatoes and there's no way to get rid of it. Dr. Oz said that most potato farmers have their own little separate patch for themselves and their families. The most important thing to buy organic is potatoes, he says never to buy regular! So I am starting to buy my potatoes and eggs at Whole foods. The eggs are expensive, but so beautiful and so much better!

  12. We love Ina at our house. Her Barefoot Contessa cookbooks are fabulous.

    We have salad most every night as well, and we usually just use olive oil and lemon juice, or olive oil and red wine vinegar. Occasionally, we might whip up another dressing, but that is not the rule...and we almost never buy bottled salad dressings.

    Thanks for sharing,

  13. This is my standby, never fail recipe for entertaining. I will have to find air-cooled chicken that is a new term for me. Ina is the best and she has a new book coming out this fall.

    Have a great weekend.


  14. Your food photos qnd recipes always look good. I'm also wondering what air cooled chicken is about. I would think you'd have more temperate temperatures by now.

  15. I only wish I could have this for dinner...instead I'm stuck with my packed peanut butter and jelly! I love fresh salads with lean proteins. This looks great, and I'm very interested in trying the air-cooled chicken breasts.

  16. Sounds great Love chicken cooked this way add a salad to the top and I can only imagine perfection!

  17. Oh my, that sounds scrumptious! Thanks for sharing!


  18. I've heard of the air cooled chicken but it's not available nearby. That salad looks great!
    btw...the apples I'm getting are from near Winchester,but the Fredericksburg area is where I call home!

  19. Sounds delicious, Bonnie... I love chicken salads--fixed all kinds of different ways... Yum...

    We have gotten hot here also--80's... Yuk... But--the nights cool off nicely so I'm okay... It is hard knowing what to wear though...

  20. This looks and sounds delicious. I have a hunk of parm that needs using so I might give this a try.

  21. You're so sweet. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I am so glad you did because yours doesn't disappoint either :)

  22. I have no good transitional attire either. I keep peeling layers off or piling them on as necessary. This salad is the perfect transitional food though! Delicious.

  23. It looks delicious! I had chicken last night and wish I had seen this before. Love warm chicken in a salad!

  24. That looks like my kind of meal! I've never seen air cooled chicken either!

    Fall is settling in here for certain! Chilly and windy today.

  25. This sounds and looks fabulous, Bonnie! Yum!!!

  26. This looks delicious. I think that I am ready for salads after vacation and with is a whole meal!

  27. Air cooled chicken breasts are new to me. I'll ask at Whole Foods when next I go.
    Anyway, I love chicken breasts done with Parmesan and bread crumbs! What could be a better meal?

  28. Chicken and parmesan are always part of our Happy meals around our table ;o)

    Buon appetito and flavourful wishes,


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